By Mike Nicks

Ilmor's controversial XR3 MotoGP bike, which was pulled from competition after only one race this year, will probably return to the track for testing soon as the British company continues to develop its V4 engine.

And development rider Jeremy McWilliams will also demonstrate the 800cc machine at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 24, as a shop window to prove that the project remains very much a live venture.

"We have one or two pieces of data to check before we go testing," Ilmor director Steve Miller told Crash.net. "It relates to the chassis geometry and some engine parts."

McWilliams, who remains under contract to Ilmor along with team-mate Andrew Pitt, will handle the testing duties. The pair completed only the opening MotoGP round in Qatar in March before Ilmor boss Mario Illien withdrew the team, claiming that sponsorship to fund the venture had proved unexpectedly hard to find.

But the company, best known for building winning engines in Formula 1 and American single-seater and NASCAR racing, insisted that the project remains on-going.

"Obviously time is running out for us to get everyone on board for a return to MotoGP for 2007," Miller said. "But we are very much in the sponsorship hunt, although the focus is beginning to shift to 2008."

Ilmor is using its own marketing expert and two agencies in the quest for partners. The company is also pursuing the possibility of leasing engines to customers who wanted to produce their own chassis for a MotoGP bike.

"Being an engine supplier is our core business," Miller said.

The McLaren-Mercedes team won the Formula 1 title in 1998-99 using Ilmor engines.